Family #37 in the 1897 Grimm census.
YDNA Haplogroup I-M170
Georg Jacob Kaiser's family is one of many that immigrated to Russia from Germany in the mid- to late-1700s. The history behind the mass immigration is detailed in the History section below.
Germans typically gave their child three names, using the middle name to identify them. Thus, a child named Georg Jacob would have used Jacob on a daily basis. In the case of my great grandfather, her preferred to use the name Jake. In numerous documents, such as Draft documents for WWI and WWII, Naturalization papers, U.S. City Directories and on his gravestone, he is referred to as Jacob G. Kaiser.
Some sources claim Jake's father was Christian Jacob Kaiser, but I was unable to confirm that other than on the Passenger Ship List record from his 1911 arrival to Philadelphia from Liverpool. According to Jakob's death certificate, his father's name was Conrad Kaiser. I recently wrote to the Social Security office to obtain a copy of his Social Security application. Written in Jake Kaiser's own hand, it confirmed that his parents were Christ Kaiser and Anna Schmidt. I should note that this application was for a replacement card; his original card was lost.
Social Security Application Details 
The newly published 1897 Grimm Census confirms that his father's name was Christian. 
Georg Jakob "Jake" Kaiser was born on 09 May 1877 to parents Christian Jakob Kaiser and Anna Elisabeth Schmidt. On his paternal side of the family, he was a descendant of Johannes Kaiser and Anna Margaretha Kaltenberger, two of the first settlers in the Colony of Grimm. On his mother's side, Johann Georg Schmidt was also one of the first settlers in Grimm.
Jake Kaiser and Charlotte Kerbel were married in 1903, and the following year on June 29, 1904, their first child, Alexander, was born. 
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Germans were disillusioned with life in Russia. The government had reneged on some of their promises to the settlers, and many dreamed of a better life in another country.  In early 1907, Jake and Charlotte decided to immigrate to the United States with their young son Alex. They traveled in a group with other family members and their children. Upon their arrival at Ellis Island, it was discovered that one of the children had an ear infection and the child was denied entrance to the U.S.  Rather than break up their families, neither family chose to remain, but that said, they still did not want to return to Russia.  Once back at their original port of departure, Hamburg, Germany, the families decided to go to Argentina, where there was already a large population of Germans and Volga Germans. 
The circuitous route took them back to Hamburg Germany, where they boarded a ship bound for La Plata, Argentina. Traveling steerage, they made the ardurous journey which included stops in Dover, England; Boulogne-sur-Mer, France; Coruña Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and finally La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Note that although the two brothers' families were listed together in the passenger list, the surname for Alex's family was misspelled as Heiser, instead of Kaiser. 
The ship docked in Argentina, and the two families made their homes there. Jake's wife gave birth to her second child, son August Kaiser, on April 26, 1907, in Bahia Blanca.  The growing family remained in Argentina for perhaps a year, but his wife Charlotte was miserable. As soon as it was financially possible, his wife convinced him to move the family back to Grimm, probably in late 1908 or early 1909.  Her third child, Jacob, was born in Grimm on April 28, 1910.  Back in Grimm, nothing had changed, and Jake and Charlotte were still restless for a new life. Once again they made plans to immigrate to the U.S. The family departed Grimm some time in August 1911, headed for Libau. 
When families left the Volga region for a port that would lead to America, they usually traveled northwest by train from Saratov to Moscow, and then due west or southwest to the port city. Most Volga Germans from Grimm traveled first to Libau, now called Liepaja, in Latvia. This involved taking a train from Saratov to Moscow and then connecting with another train that would continue due west from to Riga and finally Libau. Some trains traveled north to Minsk first, and then down to Libau. The distance from Saratov to Libau is a little over 1,200 miles, and it was probably even longer if there was no direct train route.
British immigration records show the Kaiser family traveled via the United S. S. Co. to Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire, England. The town was more commonly known as Hull. Although I have searched for that steamship company, I can find no record of it. There may have been a clerical error regarding the name of the steamship company through which they sailed.
Research shows there were two shipping lines that provided passenger service to Hull:
Wikipedia confirms the Finnish Steamship Company Finska Ångfartygs Aktiebolag was also known as F.Å.A.  Their ship was the S.S. Titania, primarily used to transport emigres from Finland to Hull. It made stops along the way in Libau and Copenhagen, picking up and transporting Russians and Jewish Latvians in addition to Volga Germans. 
Note: I am separating Volga Germans from Russians, even though they were technically Russians in terms of their citizenship and passport documentation. The Volga Germans considered themselves a separate group of people for more than 150 years, never intermarrying with Russians or any other ethnic minority in Russia. According to the Genealogical Society of Finland, while some ships traveled from Helsinki to Hull, some ships carried Russians directly from Libau to Hull. "Apart from Finns, the volumes record thousands of Russians, a number of Estonians, Latvians and Livonians. Many of the Russians have Jewish names, but even German names are common...It is unclear whether all Russian emigrants traveled by way of Hanko, since F.Å.A. boats carried Russian emigrants from Libau to Hull without calling at a Finnish port." (emphasis added) 
A search for a copy of the F.Å.A. passenger lists from 1912 was unsuccessful. Copies of the passenger lists up to 1910 and after 1918 exist; the lists for passengers traveling between those years are either not available or were destroyed. 
The ship docked in Hull at the Riverside Quay, a dock built specifically to handle quick turnaround ocean vessel traffic at the port. A rail station adjoined the quay, allowing European travelers to conveniently board a train that took them to Liverpool where they would board larger ocean liners that headed to America. 
According to historical records, once the passengers arrived in Liverpool, they were not allowed to board outbound ships until the day before or the day of departure. If they arrived earlier than that, they were forced to stay in a lodging house.  Historically, the lodging houses had a reputation for being crowded and unsanitary. By the turn of the 20th century, often the steamship companies looked after the emigrants during their stay, putting them up in company-owned lodges.  Although conditions in the early 1900s were better than those 30-50 years earlier, there were still complaints.  It's difficult to imagine which was worse: lodging accommodations in the Liverpool or steerage class on board a ship. Knowing this makes it clear how horrible the conditions in their homeland must have been. Uprooting families and enduring the long, uncomfortable journey to America was a small price to pay for the chance at a better life.
The family spent anywhere from 7 to 21 days in England, most of them in Liverpool waiting for their ship to depart on 20 September 1911.  At a top speed of 14 knots and with no additional stops, the trip would have lasted almost 10 days, arriving at the port on 30 September 1911. We know, however, that the ship did not arrive in America until 03 October 1911, so it likely made a stop in Ireland to pick up passengers before continuing across the Atlantic. The ship entered the Port of Philadelphia on October 3, 1911.  This time there were no problems with sick travelers and the families were allowed to enter the country.
Although the family's first destination was Illinois to stay with Jake's half brother Jakob Major, their first residence was in Colorado.  As was typical for Germans from Russia, Jake was a hard worker, willing to do anything to support his family. Whatever he earned at his first jobs, however, wasn't enough to care for their growing family. Their son Alex was forced to drop out of school and start working full time to help support his family. He worked in the nearby sugar beet fields. Second eldest son, August, was the first child allowed to stay in school instead of pulling beets, and he was also the first to graduate from high school.
At some point between 1911 and 1920 the family moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  In reality, however, they must have gone back and forth between Wisconsin and Colorado for a period of time since their youngest son, Paul, was born there on March 29, 1922. Furthermore, son August graduated from high school in Fort Collins in 1924. 
By 1925, however, the family was all together Fond du Lac, a town where many of their friends and family members from Grimm were living. By this time, Jake had put his carpentry skills to work at Northern Casket Company, just blocks away from the family's home on North Brooke Street. 
Jake obtained his U.S. citizenship December 4, 1937, with George Jacobs and Philip Stoll as his witnesses.  After the unexpected death of his wife Charlotte in 1939, he remarried and remained in Fond du Lac until his death from natural causes on August 5, 1963. He is buried next to his first wife, Charlotte, in Estabrooks cemetery in Fond du Lac.
1897 Grimm (Lesnoi Karamysh), Russia Census List 
Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Passenger Manifest 
1917 World War I Draft Registration 
1920 United States Federal Census 
Naturalization Record 
1940 United States Federal Census 
World War II Draft Registration 
Wisconsin Death Index 
Social Security Death Index 
Find A Grave Burial Record 
The U.S. immigration record for his son, Georg Jakob, shows that his father's name is Christian Kaiser, but this name does not appear in any family records. There was only one Christian Jakob Kaiser listed in the 1857 census, born in 1839. I spoke with my mother who was Georg Jakob Kaiser's granddaughter, and she does not remember her grandfather ever being referred to as Christian Kaiser.
On that same immigration record, it says that Georg Jakob Kaiser was going to stay with his half brother in Chicago, Johann Jakob Meier. Again, I asked my mother about any relatives with the surname Meier, and she knew none. For a family that remained close to it's Volga German relatives, this seems unusual.
I looked up Meier in the 1857 census, and the name does not exist there, except as spelled Maier. There was only one family with that name in Grimm: Johannes and Gertraude Maier with son Johann Friedrich and grandson Johann Friedrich. All three males were deceased as of 1857, and mother Gertraude was beyond her child bearing years at 62.
What seems more likely, according to my mother, is that the surname of his half brother was misspelled when the immigration records were typed up using handwritten immigration documents to pull the information from. She thinks the half brother's name was either Meisner or Major. With Meisner, it's easy to see how the name could have been misconstrued. With Major, the J was sometimes pronounced like a Y (as opposed to a G), so it could have been misinterpreted whether he had poor penmanship or if someone else wrote down the answers to immigration questions for Georg Jakob.
It's also possible that even if his half brother's name was originally spelled Meisner or Major, it was entered as Meier when he himself immigrated and his brother didn't bother to correct the error.
There were several Meisner and Major families who were close to my mother's grandparents in Wisconsin and Illinois, and they may have been relatives.
Georg Jakob's son, August Kaiser, supplied the information that appears on his death certificate. There is no reason August wouldn't know his grandfather's name, which he said was Conrad Kaiser, but he may have confused the name with that of his great-grandfather, which was, in fact, Konrad.
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